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Mary Nagy

(11-08-1970)

The Sour Stench Of Childhood


When he asked about my childhood
I knew not where to start.
The scents began to flood my head
while strangling my heart.

My mind has instant recall
on those certain horrid scents.
Like overflowing ashtrays
in a car with blowing vents.

The smell of all night parties
mixed with the scent of a strangers love.
The sour stench of sweat and tears
it's hard to rise above.

The pungent smell of beer breath
in a young girls sleeping face.
The memories of childhood
are not so easily erased.

Some things are burnt in memory
no matter how we fight.
He quietly put a scented candle
on the table in plain sight

Submitted: Thursday, December 29, 2005
Edited: Friday, January 05, 2007

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  • Ray Andrews (12/29/2005 6:49:00 PM)

    This poem left me feeling quiet; made me reflect on my own leaving and what I will leave behind.
    I've spent years trying to heal from the indignity of my father's violent verbal blasts-at me. I used to yell at myself to let go-now-well just an occasional whisper.
    Peace to you Mary. You're a friend to us all.
    Ray (fabulous poem too!) (Report) Reply

  • kskdnj sajn (12/29/2005 1:53:00 PM)

    Hi Mary, This poem is fabulous! Clear discription, and flows well. My favorite of your work so far. Thanks for sharing! :) (Report) Reply

  • Amanda Lukas (12/29/2005 11:09:00 AM)

    It's impossible to erase the past, I know. However those 'sour stenches' make you who you are today. Yesterday's pain makes for today's great poetry. (Report) Reply

  • Max Reif (12/29/2005 11:02:00 AM)

    I know some of those smells (the ashtrays) , and you make the rest known! The final gesture is a beautiful touch, I agree. (Report) Reply

  • Ernestine Northover (12/29/2005 10:53:00 AM)

    Put those thoughts where they deserve to be Mary, in the past. I know it's strange how scents can capture a lot of different moments in life. Don't dwell on them, but find new scents to delight. Start with scents around the home, the kids, and that fabulous bloke of yours. He'll laugh I know to think of me telling you he 'smells', but nice of course, but these are the scents of now, not then. Breath them in deeply, and the others will become odourless. Again a lovely description in poem form. Love Ernestine XXX (Report) Reply

  • Sally Clarke (12/29/2005 8:45:00 AM)

    Some things stay with us for ever....whether they are words, smells, or even just the sight of something that jogs the memory back to a bad time. If only we could have the power to turn these things around into something positive.

    I feel for you.

    Sally X (Report) Reply

Read all 10 comments »

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